11 Tips for Plastic Free Gardening Made Easy

Gardening is a fulfilling and rewarding activity that allows us to connect with nature and enhance the beauty of our outdoor spaces. However, traditional gardening practices can have a negative impact on the environment, especially when it comes to plastic waste. Plastic pots, plant labels, and packaging are common items used in gardening, but they contribute to the growing problem of plastic pollution.

Together, we can make a difference by adopting plastic-free practices in our gardens. In this article, I will share some tips and ideas on how to have a plastic-free garden.


1. Choose Plastic-Free Gardening Tools and Materials

The first step to a plastic-free garden is to choose tools and materials that are free of plastic. When shopping for gardening supplies, look for items made from natural materials such as wood, metal, or bamboo. For example, instead of plastic plant pots, you can use biodegradable pots made from coconut coir, peat, or paper. These pots will decompose in the soil over time, reducing waste and minimizing environmental impact.

Instead of plastic tree guards, you can use 100% biodegradable hessian tree guards made from natural jute fibers or hessian fabric, which is compostable and sustainable.

Instead of plastic planter boxes, you can use planter boxes, garden beds, and complete garden kits made of natural wood.

Natural yards - Raised Garden Beds


2. Start Composting

Composting is a great way to reduce waste and create nutrient-rich soil for your garden. Instead of throwing away food scraps, yard waste, and other organic materials, you can turn them into compost. Composting also reduces the need for plastic fertilizers and pesticides, which can be harmful to the environment. By using compost as a natural fertilizer, you can improve the health of your plants while reducing your carbon footprint. However, be careful about what you compost to avoid microplastic contamination, for example compost only plastic-free tea bags, coffee filters etc. as you may be surprised that these may include synethic materials.

Composting Help Reduce Microplastic Pollution


Related: How Composting Can Help to Reduce Organic Waste and Microplastic Pollution


3. Reuse and Repurpose Items 

Another way to reduce plastic waste in your garden is to reuse and repurpose items. Instead of buying new plastic plant labels, you can make your own from materials such as bamboo or wooden skewers for example by reusing the handle of a bamboo toothbrush! You can also reuse containers such as jars or buckets to plant your favorite herbs or vegetables. Old t-shirts or sheets can be cut up and used as a natural alternative to plastic weed barriers.


4. Use Natural Pest Control

Pesticides and insecticides can be harmful to the environment and the beneficial insects in your garden. Instead, consider using natural pest control methods such as companion planting, which involves planting certain plants together to repel pests or attract beneficial insects. You can also use homemade remedies such as neem oil, garlic spray, or soap spray to control pests without using harmful chemicals. There are also non toxic pest control products on the market that allow you to control the pest without using toxic chemicals around your garden.


Related: Advocating for Environmental Responsibility Within Legal Guidelines


5. Support Plastic-Free Garden Products

Supporting companies that prioritize sustainability and use plastic-free packaging can make a big difference in reducing plastic waste. When shopping for garden products, look for companies that use compostable or recyclable packaging, or opt for bulk products that reduce the need for individual packaging. By supporting these companies, you are sending a message that plastic-free products are important to you and encouraging more companies to adopt sustainable practices.


6. Save Seeds and Cuttings

Instead of buying new plants every year, consider saving seeds and cuttings from your existing plants. You can also propagate your own plants – this not only saves money but also reduces the need for plastic packaging and transportation. You can store seeds in paper envelopes and cuttings in glass jars filled with water until they grow roots.


Related: 7 Creative Ways to Embrace Biodegradable Alternatives to Plastic that Make a Difference


7. Use Rainwater

Using rainwater to water your plants is not only cost-effective but also reduces the need for plastic hoses and watering cans. You can collect rainwater in a barrel or other container and use it to water your plants. This also reduces the amount of water that goes into storm drains, which can lead to water pollution.


8. Choose Native Plants

Choosing native plants for your garden not only supports the local ecosystem but also reduces the need for plastic fertilizers and pesticides. Native plants are adapted to the local climate and require less maintenance, making them a great choice for a low-maintenance, plastic-free garden.

Environmental Responsibility


9. Make Your Own Mulch

Instead of buying plastic mulch, you can make your own by using fallen leaves, grass clippings, or straw. Mulch helps retain moisture in the soil, reduces the need for watering, and prevents weed growth. It also decomposes over time, providing nutrients to your plants.


10. Support Community Gardening

Joining a community garden is a great way to share resources and reduce plastic waste. You can share tools and materials with other gardeners, and work together to compost and recycle. Community gardening also promotes a sense of community and can be a great way to meet like-minded people who share your passion for gardening and sustainability.


11. Read Books About Plastic Free Gardening

If you want to take this further, we strongly recommend to read books about plastic-free gardening, as a great resource to increase your knowledge on this topic.

This post contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. This helps us continue the hard work we put into researching products and solutions.


The Plastic Free Gardener Book by Louise Boland

The Plastic Free Gardener. Book by Louise Boland

This photographic guide to gardening without plastic provides extensive guidance on how to create and maintain a beautiful flower garden and productive vegetable plot or allotment whilst limiting the use of plastics in the garden. 

With a mix of clear instructions and gorgeous photographs, The Plastic-Free Gardener offers a wide range of tips, clever ideas, and step-by-step solutions for gardening without plastic. Working wherever possible with natural materials, the plastic free gardener can find lots of ways to reduce plastic waste and avoid plastic pollution and the introduction of microplastics into the natural environment.

For plastic free gardening solutions which work in harmony with wildlife and nature. The guide also includes an impressive list of garden centres and nurseries throughout the UK.

The book is available from Amazon UK.


Plastic-free Gardening by Fiona Thackeray

Plastic-free Gardening: A Guide to Reducing the Plastic in Your Gardening Life. Book by Fiona Thackeray 

Do you feel overwhelmed by the amount of plastic in the world* and in your garden? Worried that you alone can’t make much difference? Are you confused by all the gardening products claiming to be biodegradable or compostable? Or maybe you just don’t know where to start? This book is for you. It includes:

  • Clear information about garden plastics and their effects on the environment
  •  Help to weigh up alternative materials and marketing claims.
  • Low-cost, fun, and DIY ideas for adapting your garden and the way you garden to use less plastic. 

While most book covers contain plastic, this one is plastic-free.

The book is available from Amazon UK. Every sale of this book supports Trellis, the therapeutic gardening charity in Scotland.


Conclusion: Plastic Free Gardening is not That Difficult!

Plastic free gardening is not only good for the environment, but it can also enhance the beauty and health of your outdoor space. By choosing plastic-free garden tools and materials, composting, reusing and repurposing, using natural pest control, and supporting plastic-free products, we can all make a difference in reducing plastic waste. Let’s work together to create a greener, healthier, and more sustainable world, one garden at a time.


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